While I unknowingly booked myself into a long and tiring week (with a freelance assignment that was both enjoyable and exhausting at the same time, and a family gathering, and then a photoshoot that required my family and I to wake up earlier than usual), I was really glad that I pushed on and perservered in bringing Phoebie for the Great Eastern Women’s Run.
No, I didn’t take part in any of the categories in the main race. Thank goodness I didn’t too, because I wouldn’t be able to after such a long week. I did, however, sign my five-year-old daughter up for the Princess Dash. I had seen the advertisements for this event a few months back and decided to sign Phoebie up for it. My intention was to make this a bonding event for Phoebie and I.
A couple of weeks before the event, we collected the race pack and I started to build the anticipation in Phoebie.
Race day finally came yesterday!!! I would like to think that all the participants were thankful that it was a beautiful and clear day with no haze nor rain in sight.
While I had expected some whining from Phoebie because we had to wake up extra earlier, she surprised me with zero complaints. No whining at all. That set us for a good start because no whining meant that I wouldn’t have to start nagging too.
Ben had offered to come along with us to give Phoebie moral support in her first race of her life but I told him not to come. I decided that this should be a special time for Phoebie and I, and I was glad I decided it that way.
As soon as we arrived at the venue for the race, at The Float, I pinned Phoebie’s tag onto her top. Participants were encouraged to decorate their tutus and I had spent the day before drawing on felt and cutting and paste stars onto Phoebie’s tutu.
It was a little chaotic at the holding area because there were different instructions for different age groups of the Princess Dash. Girls aged seven to nine were to run on their own without their parents, and these parents were supposed to wait at another holding area to pick their daughters up. Girls aged three to six had to have their mothers run with them in the race. This difference in rules created a bottle neck at the entry point to the race, and I thought it could have been better resolved if the organizers had sent someone to make announcements to the parents for the older category.
In the midst of the chaos, the two categories for children were eventually separated and the older group of girls ran the race first.
The younger girls with their mums ran in batches because there were a lot of people running.
As our batch of runners waited at the starting line, I asked my sassy daughter if she wanted me to hold her hand or if she would like to run on her own. “I want to run by myself,” she said. So I told Phoebie to just keep running and that I would be nearby. With that, she ran on her own as I ran nearby, recording her first race on my phone.
The happy look on Phoebie’s face as she ran was carved into my heart as I ran alongside, cheering her on. The feeling was indescribable.
As the girls ran past the finish line, volunteers for the event were standing by with tiaras, waiting to reward and crown the girls for their effort. I could tell from Phoebie’s face that she was very proud of herself.
Right inside the tent next to the finish line, there were all kinds of activities for the children to enjoy; face painting, balloon sculpting, art and craft, photo booths, free popcorn and cotton candy, and a bouncy castle right outside the tent.
We stayed at the event until the activity booths started to close. As we left, Phoebie finally said that her legs were tired.
Despite the hot and humid weather and all the walking and running, Phoebie didn’t whine or make a single complaint. I had a good time with her, just mother and daughter, and I was really glad that I had signed us up for this event.
I asked Phoebie if she would like to go for more runs with me and her answer was a joyous yes.
Right there and then, I told myself that such runs shall be a special bonding thing just for Phoebie and I.
(When I got home, I told my husband Ben that he can bring our son for runs while our daughter and I will do runs together. This way, both of us have something special to do with each of our children.)